Bring Wombat home: Disabled teenager desperate to get her missing dog back
A Dromara mum and her disabled daughter have pleaded for the safe return of the family dog who went missing over three weeks ago.
Wombat, a three-year-old beagle, went missing on September 27 and has not been seen since, despite huge efforts to find him.
Wombat is the much-loved companion dog of Ela (15) and Beth McGurk (16).
Beth has Friedreich's ataxia, a degenerative muscle condition which has left her a permanent wheelchair user.
Sharon McGurk (49), Ela and Beth's mother and full-time carer, said that there would be no consequences for anyone who may have taken Wombat.
"I don't need to know why you have him but I won't get the police involved if you return him," she said. "There will be no repercussions for what has happened.
"Even if you want to leave him with a neighbour then that's fine - we just need him home.
"He is a wee rascal and so snuggly, all he ever wants to do is sleep. Beth does have an assistance dog, but Wombat was her companion and was always by her side."
Wombat went missing after he was let out to relieve himself on the morning of September 27. When Sharon returned 20 minutes later, he was nowhere to be seen and the last sighting of him was by a neighbour later that day.
In an effort to try and find him, Sharon and two volunteers have set up a dedicated Facebook page to help find him, called Bring Wombat Home, which has now attracted over 1,000 likes.
She said: "We were getting so much attention that I couldn't keep up with it all. We've had people on the page from England, Scotland and Wales so the message is really getting out. We need as many people to know about him as possible to try and make sure that he can be found."
Beth had been waiting for years to get a beagle, ever since she was at a country fair aged seven, when a beagle called Wombat ran up and licked her face. Ever since then she had asked for her own Wombat and her wish was eventually granted on Christmas Eve 2014.
Today marks the 23rd day the dog has been missing.
"He likes to bury things that you give him, even if its just a piece of toast," said Sharon. "We're still finding socks that he's buried in the flower beds."